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v. Areni

“Arpi” Natural-Historical Reservation was formed in the November of 1988, by the decision of the Council of Ministers of SSRA. It is located in the Administrative District of Areni Village of Vayots Dzor Province, to the south of the second kilometer of the road Areni–Eghegnadzor, in the Noravank Canyon. The reservation includes a general surface of 200 hectares. The 40 hectares belong to karst caves of “Arjer”, “Mozrov”, “Magila”, “Bird”. The general length of the canyon from the north to the south is 8 km. The Gneshik River starts from the Noravank Canyon. The rich flora of the reservation exists due to the waters of the Gneshik River. The golden fund of the flora of the reservation includes about 200 endemic species. The fauna of the reservation is also rich.

The greatest wealth of “Arpi” Natural-Historical Reservation is the medieval historical-architectural complex of Noravank. The latter was the residence of the Metropolitan of Syunik in the XII–XIV cc. Here the representatives of the Orbelyan Princely House promoted stormy activity.

The monastic complex, surrounded by high rocks, includes St. Karapet Church, the first construction of which was built in the IX c. The complex also includes the Church of St. Stepanos and its narthex (XIII c.), St. Gregory the Illuminator crypt-church (XIII c.), and other monastic constructions. St. Astvatsatsin-Burtelashen two-storeyed church-crypt (1339) and the hand-made cross-stones, which were both created by great architect and sculptor Momik, were truly considered the “crown” of Noravank and the construction works of the Orbelyans. In 1988-1999 repair works were carried out in the complex.

The complex was attached to Ejmiatsin in 2011 and now it is a working spiritual center. In 2010 a museum dedicated to the life and activity of architect Momik was also opened here.


Address: the Province of Vayots Dzor, v. Areni

e-mail [email protected]


The working days and hours of the reservation:

Tuesday-Saturday 9:00–17:30

Sunday 9:00–15:30

Day off: Monday.